They went to him and found him in the same situation, herding the pigs. They conveyed their salām to him, gave him reminders, and recited some Qur’ān to him, but he gave no response. They left him and the regret for him in their hearts intensified.
As they distanced themselves from the monastery in a state of mourning, someone began to come from the direction of the monastery crying out to them, and they stopped. It was their shaykh and he joined them once again.
He said, ‘I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allāh, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh. I have repented to Allāh and have abandoned what I was upon. All of this has happened because of a sin between me and my Lord, and He wanted to punish me and thus you witnessed the ordeal I was in.’
The students were happy beyond belief and returned to Baghdād. The shaykh engaged in acts of worship and self-struggling far more than what he used to do. One day while they were reading to the shaykh, there was a knock at the door and it turned out to be a young woman. The students asked her, ‘What do you need, young lady?’
She said, ‘I want to speak to the shaykh.’
They went to the shaykh and told him that she was so-and-so, the daughter of the priest. She came to accept Islām at his hands. He permitted her to enter and she said to him, ‘My master, I have come to accept Islām at your hands.’
The shaykh said, ‘What is your story?’
She said, ‘When you left me, I became weary and fell asleep. I saw in my dream `Alī b. Abī Tālib(RA) and he said to me: ‘There is no religion except the religion of Muhammad, may Allāh’s peace and blessings be upon him.’ He said that three times and then said: ‘And Allāh will test one of His righteous servants through you.’
So now I have come to you, standing here in front of you to say that I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allāh, and I bear witness that Muhammad his the Messenger of Allāh, may Allāh’s peace and blessings be upon him.’
The shaykh rejoiced that Allāh blessed her with Islām upon his hands. He then married her based upon the law of Allāh and His Messenger.
The students asked him about the sin that he committed that was between him and Allāh.
He replied, ‘One day I was walking in a path when a Christian man grabbed a hold of me. I said: ‘Get away from me! May Allāh’s curse be upon you!’
He asked, ‘Why?’
I told him: ‘I am better than you.’
The Christian man turned to me and said, ‘And how do you know that you are better than me? Do you know of the matters with Allāh that would lead you to say such words?’
After some time, news reached me that this Christian man accepted Islām, lived it in a beautiful manner, and was persistent in his worship. Thus, Allāh tested me because of this as you have witnessed.’
We ask Allāh for a state of spiritual well-being in this life and the Hereafter.
I shared this story to remind us that Allah simply favoured us by making us Muslims and not because we deserve it. Every non-Muslim is a potential Muslim so we should never look down on them as kaafir because only Allah knows our end.
If we meet someone committing a sin, we should realise that it is not our words that make them change their actions but Allah. If He does not touch a person’s heart and guide him after he is lost, he will never find his way. All we can do, after guiding them nicely, is to pray for them.
Any other lessons learnt from this?
On another note, I will like to share with you the award I received, together with other bloggers, from Aisha, a blogger in Egypt. It is the Muslim Blogger Award and here it is:
You can visit her here. Thanks again, Aisha.
‘And remind (by preaching the Quran, O Muhammad SAW) for verily, the reminding profits the believers.’ Q51.55